Rat Pack (The Sopranos)
|The Sopranos episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Alan Taylor|
|Written by||Matthew Weiner|
|Cinematography by||Alik Sakharov|
|Original air date||March 14, 2004|
|Running time||57 minutes|
"Rat Pack" is the fifty-fourth episode of the HBO original series The Sopranos and is the second of the show's fifth season. It was written by Matthew Weiner, directed by Alan Taylor and originally aired on March 14, 2004.
- James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
- Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi *
- Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano
- Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
- Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano, Jr.
- Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante
- Tony Sirico as Paulie Gualtieri
- Robert Iler as Anthony Soprano, Jr.
- Jamie-Lynn DiScala as Meadow Soprano
- Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
- Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano Baccalieri
- Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri
- Vincent Curatola as Johnny Sack
- John Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco
- and Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundetto
* = credit only
Also guest starring
- Ray Abruzzo as Little Carmine
- Rae Allen as Aunt Quintina Blundetto
- David Copeland as Joey Cogo
- Patti D'Arbanville as Lorraine Calluzzo
- Robert Desiderio as Jack Massarone
- Vanessa Ferlito as Tina Francesco
- Lola Glaudini as Agent Deborah Ciccerone
- Tony Lip as Carmine Lupertazzi
- Robert Loggia as Michele "Feech" La Manna
- George Loros as Raymond Curto
- Frank Pando as Agent Grasso
- Frank Pellegrino as Bureau Chief Frank Cubitoso
- Joe Santos as Angelo Garepe
- Matt Servitto as Agent Harris
- Vinny Vella as Jimmy Petrille
- Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
- Karen Young as Agent Sanseverino
- Sharon Angela as Rosalie Aprile
- Maureen Van Zandt as Gabriella Dante
- Denise Borino as Ginny Sacrimoni
- Robert Funaro as Eugene Pontecorvo
- Joseph R. Gannascoli as Vito Spatafore
- Dan Grimaldi as Patsy Parisi
- Richard Maldone as Albert Barese
- Carl Capotorto as Little Paulie Germani
- Dan Castleman as Prosecutor Castleman
- Angelo Massagli as Bobby Baccalieri III
- Miryam Coppersmith as Sophia Baccalieri
- Frank Fortunato as Jason Evanina
- Scott Johnsen as Cop
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Tony meets with contractor Jack Massarone at a diner to discuss their business arrangements. Massarone presents Tony with a painting of Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. and tries to get Tony to discuss his connections with government officials. Tony deflects the questions, which turns out to be a wise approach: unknown to Tony, Massarone is wearing "a wire" hidden in his baseball cap, having become an FBI informant. Fellow informant and Soprano Family capo Ray Curto spends time at FBI Headquarters to help wiretap staff correct inaudible words that were incorrectly transcribed from a meeting he recorded.
As Tony, Bobby, and Uncle Junior reminisce at Junior's home, word comes from New York City that Carmine Lupertazzi has died. Uncle Junior is once again distraught over so many of his friends dying. The next day, during the funeral service, conflict arises between Little Carmine and Johnny Sack. Little Carmine seems to take offense at Johnny and his men telling jokes and laughing at his father's wake, as well as the fact that more New York mobsters are coming to greet John (whom they regard as Carmine Sr.'s rightful successor) than to him to express condolences. Little Carmine later argues with John over rosary beads placed in Carmine Sr.'s coffin. Little Carmine asserts that Ginny Sack placed Opus Dei (which he regards to be a "fundamentalist cult") beads in the coffin without his knowledge. He gives Johnny Sack heated words about it. Despite bonding with Johnny Sack while his father was dying, Little Carmine announces that he didn't mean the kind words he once said to Johnny, including that John was "like a son" to Carmine Sr. Tony and other bystanders overhear. Later, in a restroom at the Bada Bing, Johnny confesses to Tony he is astounded that Little Carmine is now contesting his position as the new Lupertazzi Family boss, after having been away from 'family' matters for years in Florida.
Tony is interested in the return of his cousin Tony Blundetto from prison. He meets "Tony B" at his mother Quintina's house. Tony B is wearing an outdated, 1980's-style suit. At his welcome-home party at Nuovo Vesuvio, Tony tells a large gathering of family and friends how important his cousin was in his life growing up, calling him the brother he never had. He explains how the family called him "Tony-Uncle-Johnny" and called Tony B "Tony-Uncle-Al" to distinguish the two (by their respective fathers). Tony B is introduced to various family members he has not seen in years, including children of theirs who grew up in his absence. Tony B is disappointed to learn his ex-wife and their twin sons are not in attendance. The party then continues at the Bada Bing, and Tony seems to act awkwardly around his cousin, taking offense when Tony B says it was good that Tony was not arrested with him the night he hijacked the truck and assuming Tony B is mocking his weight when doing an impression of Jackie Gleason's "Reginald Van Gleason"/"Boy, are you fat" routine to entertain other mobsters. Tony then notices Feech La Manna greeting Tony B with an envelope of cash and observes that the two former prisoners seem closer to each other than the two Tonys are. The morning after the party, Tony has breakfast with Tony B and makes him an offer to join a stolen car airbag operation, but he is not as eager to get back in the business as his cousin expects. Blundetto informs Tony that he was able to earn an associate's degree in prison and is on his way to becoming a state-licensed massage therapist. He believes this is his chance to start over and wants to go completely legitimate. Tony reluctantly offers him a job delivering linens and tablecloths for a Korean-owned business, along with a quick way of obtaining a driver's license. Tony seems disappointed by Tony B's decision to live a legitimate lifestyle, calling him "useless" in front of Silvio and Christopher. Tony also reprimands Tony B for making jokes about him (which undermine his authority) and for distracting mobsters at Satriale's with a demonstration of his massage skills on a massage table. Tony later seems to soften his tone and reconcile with his cousin when he calls him by phone in the middle of the night, and Tony B calls Tony his "cousin and best friend."
Adriana watches the classic film Citizen Kane in the Sopranos' home theater with Carmela, Rosalie Aprile, Janice, Gabriella Dante, and Donna Parisi during one of their movie nights. Afterward, the women briefly discuss the movie, which evolves into a discussion of Carmela's possible divorce and their own (respective) tepid marriages, including some surprising romantic struggles in Janice's new marriage.
Adriana later meets with her FBI handler, Agent Sanseverino. Adriana has a hard time dealing with informing on others, as well as Sanseverino's impersonal style. Sanseverino tells Adriana that she is with the "good guys" now, then shares with Adriana the reason she became an FBI agent. Years ago, her sister's criminal boyfriend traded their TV for six handguns. He sold five of them to teenagers and used the sixth to shoot open a coconut—the bullet ricocheting off of the coconut and hitting her sister in the spine, leaving her a paraplegic. Sanseverino claims that she became an FBI agent to deal with people like her sister's old boyfriend. A shocked Adriana sheds a tear.
Being an informant doesn't work out very well for Jack Massarone. Tony becomes suspicious about him after he gets a tip from Patsy Parisi (who runs counter-surveillance for Tony) that their earlier meeting had been under FBI surveillance. Tony is certain that he wasn't the one being followed, however, so he arranges a meeting with Massarone to "feel him out"—literally: At the meet, Tony hugs Massarone in greeting while feeling for recording/listening devices, not realizing the device is in Massarone's baseball cap. This makes Massarone uncomfortable, but Tony reassures him. Later, Tony informs his crew he couldn't tell if Massarone was an informant. A few moments later, Tony remarks about how Massarone had mentioned that Tony had lost weight, which the rest of the crew seem (quietly) skeptical about. During the council with his crew, Tony gets a call from Tony Blundetto's discontented linen company boss, who is considering firing Tony B. Christopher then floats the idea of using Tony B to hit Massarone. Tony, frustrated, tells Chris that Tony B wants to "go straight."
Tony retreats to his (Livia's) house to think about Massarone, but seems to be having anxiety problems (expressed at the Rat Pack picture). Tony drinks alcohol and repositions the painting on the wall, then on the fireplace mantlepiece. Tony calls Tony B at 3 a.m. for small talk, and to complain about his separation. After facing a mirror and patting the full size of his gut, Tony takes a drive with the painting. On the Pulaski Skyway, Tony tosses the painting out his truck window into the river beneath and drives away. The next morning, Massarone is found dead in the trunk of his car, a bullet hole in his head and a golf club cover in his mouth.
Adriana, meanwhile, is racked with guilt during another movie night at Carmela's, inflamed by Rosalie Aprile telling her how Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero's widow, Angie Bonpensiero, was not welcome in their group anymore because Big Pussy, they believe, betrayed them all by going into the witness protection program. Rosalie condemns Sal as Judas-like. A teary Adriana comes very close to telling her girlfriends about being an informant herself but keeps quiet long enough to flee the get-together in tears. Adriana runs off wildly in the darkness, stumbling and skinning her knee and scraping her face on the driveway. She refuses her girlfriends' offers of first aid and speeds away from the Soprano house in her car. The next morning, Adriana tells Agent Sanseverino that Tina Francesco (her friend who keeps annoying her by flirting with Christopher) is embezzling money from her boss at a furniture store. Sanseverino writes this down.
- Lorraine Calluzzo: loan shark working for the Lupertazzi crime family, also known as "Lady Shylock."
- Jason Evanina: Lorraine Calluzzo's loan-sharking partner and lover.
- Tony Blundetto (first physical appearance): Tony's cousin and DiMeo/Soprano crime family member who was sent to federal prison in 1986 for hijacking a tractor trailer.
- Phil Leotardo (first physical appearance): Captain in the Lupertazzi crime family, recently released from prison after serving 20 years.
- Joseph "Joey" Cogo: killed offscreen in a payment dispute. Agent Sanseverino shows photos of his corpse to Adriana, who confirms his identity and having seen him previously with certain mob members.
- Carmine Lupertazzi: died of stroke
- Jack Massarone: killed for being an FBI informant. Massarone is found dead in the trunk of a car by FBI agents.
- Jack Massarone gives Tony a painting of Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr, who were all members of the "Rat Pack."
- The episode shows Adriana, Jack Massarone, and Raymond Curto all working with the FBI. Such informants are often called "rats."
- Junior refers to the recently released "Class of 2004" as "Old rats on a new ship."
References to other media
- The wiretap recording that Ray Curto is helping the FBI transcribe is from the capos meeting in "For All Debts Public and Private".
- Paulie quotes from Sun Tzu's The Art of War, mispronouncing the author's name as "Sun-Ta-Zu", confusing Tony Blundetto until corrected by Silvio. He also mistakenly refers to Sun Tzu as "the Chinese Prince Matchabelli", (meaning Niccolò Machiavelli).
- In one scene, Tony is shown watching a tearful recollection by WWII veteran Edward Heffron in "Points", the final episode of HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.
- During Tony Blundetto's comeback party, Artie asks Tony Blundetto, "Where's Tubbs?" This was in reference to the 1980s TV series Miami Vice, in which Rico Tubbs' partner, Sonny Crockett, usually wore a light-colored suit and T-shirt similar to what Tony Blundetto wore that night. Sopranos actors Tony Sirico, Steve Buscemi and Joe Santos appeared as guest stars on Miami Vice.
- Tony Blundetto jokingly calls Paulie Grandpa Munster (from The Munsters) because of his hair.
- At Carmela's house, due to Tonys removing the media system, the women enjoy snacks and wine instead of watching Casablanca. The next movie on their list is The Godfather.
- Before watching Citizen Kane, Carmela reads the review of the film from Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.
Reference to real events
- After Carmine Lupertazzi passes, Bobby mentions that he had heard Carmine invented point shaving. To this, Uncle Junior nostalgically recalls, "CCNY versus Kentucky, 1951. Nobody beat the spread, I bought a black Fleetwood." This refers to the actual CCNY Point Shaving Scandal of 1950-1951.
- Roy Orbison's "Crying", and "It Hurts to Be in Love," by Gene Pitney both play in the diner during the first scene.
- In the coffee shop scene between Adriana and Agent Sanseverino, "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range can be heard playing in the background.
- "Walk With Me" by Felix Da Housecat is playing in the background in the first scene between Adriana, Christopher and Tina at the Crazy Horse. In a later scene, "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 is playing.
- Tony Blundetto's cellphone ringtone is Queen's "We Are the Champions"
- Dean Martin singing "Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile Smile Smile)" is heard playing at Artie's restaurant when the Tonys arrive together.
- The song played over the end credits is "Undercover of the Night" by The Rolling Stones.